Panic-stricken turkeys fleeing the first Thanksgiving.
True or false
The name Thanksgiving is transparent and it means exactly what it says: It is a day set aside to share a feast with friends and family and to be grateful for one's blessings.
False. It is widely misconstrued that Thanksgiving is a simple, transparently named holiday set aside to give thanks. But because it was established before the era of recorded communications – or eyewink emojis – no one was able to tell that the thanks part of Thanksgiving was sarcastic, i.e., "Hey, thanks to whoever left the gas tank on E!"
Also, nobody picked up on the snark of establishing the tradition of turkey, which is a bland, dry entree that is edible only if drowned in gravy, second only to fried liver – which must be smothered in onions – as a dish to be the least thankful for.
Then again, maybe that's the best test of gratitude. Being thankful for something that isn't really that good. It's baby steps for something bigger like: If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?
If you know who said that, then you're ready for the next big holiday.
Mark Morelli is a New York Times Bestseller reader.